Can I Be My Own Registered Agent? A Guide To Protect New Owners

When you start your own business, there are many different loose ends that need to be tied off. Many of these minor business details are not topics that entrepreneurs are familiar with prior to owning a business. There are not many resources available about certain aspects of business ownership, like getting a registered agent for you business. But, what is a registered agent? If you are a new small business owner, you are probably wondering, “Can I be my own registered agent?” The answer to that question, and all the other details you need to know about registered agents and their role in business operations will be detailed below. That way, you know what you need to do to become your own registered agent and what you will be responsible for should you choose to do it yourself.

What Is A Registered Agent?

A registered agent is an individual that can accept official legal documents and lawsuits on behalf of a business. They are not the same as a legal advisor, however. This role is vital in all businesses. Of course, you hope that your business will not ever get sued. However, there are many other instances that will require your business to procure legal agreements, contracts and paperwork. In those cases, a registered agent will act on your behalf to sign for the registered mail that encloses that legal documentation. That is why the registered agents role is such a vital component of all business operations.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?

Of course all business owners immediately want to know, can I be my own registered agent? The simple answer is yes. Business owners can act as the registered agent for their own business. However, there are some business operations experts that would say it is a bad idea. On the other hand, hiring registered agent services could cost your business capital that is simply not in the budget or that could be spent elsewhere. Regardless, the answer is that yes, you can be your own registered agent for your small business.

You Need A Physical Address

In order to become the registered agent for your own business, you need to have a physical address. This cannot be your home address. However, your registered agent address can be the same as your business location. As long as you have established a business location in the state where your business LLC is incorporated, you can be your own registered agent to take advantage of some money saving tips. Just remember to not use your own home address. That is the only location that could provide problematic for business operations. Keep this in mind when you are figuring out whether or not you want to be your own registered agent.

You Need To Be Available

In order to act as registered agent for your business, you need to be available during typical office hours. You need to be physically present at the address listed for your registered agent during office hours, Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, every single day. Legal documents will be served and delivered during these hours. If you are not there, you will not be able to accept them. This will obviously prove problematic for your business operations. This is something you should consider if you are thinking of foregoing hiring a registered agent service in favor of being your own registered agent.

You Need To Be Comfortable

If you become a registered agent for your business, you need to be comfortable with the possibility of getting served in front of others. Getting served with a lawsuit can happen at any time. That means that your employees, customers, clients, family or friends may be present when it happens. Obviously, this is not an ideal situation. It can be quite humiliating personally. Of course, there are some business owners who do not mind taking their chances. You need to be able to determine whether or not this type of event could be worth the cost of paying for registered agent services. That will, of course, help you make the decision to be your own registered agent or not.

Owning a business requires a high attention to detail. There are many different nuances of business operations that you do not become aware of until you actually open your own business. One of those little details is the business registered agent. Registered agents are not the same as a business attorney. These professionals act on the business owner’s behalf to accept lawsuits and legal documents and mailings. Naturally, all business owners wonder “Can I be my own registered agent?” Now, you know the answer to that question. Yes, you can. But, you also need to consider the feasibility of such an endeavor. Consider the details of a registered agent role in business as described above. This will help you figure out whether being your own registered agent is a good idea or not. That way, you can star your business out on the right foot to improve your odds at long-term success.

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